NVIDIA's GeForce 7950 GX2 & Forceware Rel. 90

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In January of this year, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NVIDIA and Dell jointly unveiled an ultra high-end gaming system equipped with a pair of specialized graphics adapters that were each powered by a pair of GeForce 7800 GTX GPUs and 1GB of memory. The final configuration consisted of two "cards", four GPUs, and a total of 2GB of graphics memory.  NVIDIA dubbed the technology "Quad-SLI", and gave Dell an exclusive on the technology for a short period of time.

At the time NVIDIA didn't announce any plans to bring Quad-SLI to retail, but we all knew the day would eventually come. While that day is not today (technically), NVIDIA is laying the foundation for do-it-yourself Quad-SLI with the release of the new GeForce 7950 GX2.  The GeForce 7950 GX2 is a refinement of the technologies employed in the first dual-GPU cards used in the original Quad-SLI design.  The 7950 GX2 features newer GPUs and revised PCB designs that not only make the cards physically smaller, but more power efficient and ultimately more compatible with existing platforms.  Though Quad-SLI may or may not be ready for prime time in the mainstream just yet, the GeForce 7950 GX2 is being targeted by NVIDIA as the fastest single graphics adapter on earth currently -- a single graphics adapter with dual GPUs. 

NVIDIA's GeForce 7950 GX2: Features and Specifications
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NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 Shading Architecture

Vertex Shaders

  • Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
  • Displacement mapping
  • Geometry instancing
  • Infinite length vertex programs

Pixel Shaders

  • Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
  • Full pixel branching support
  • Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
  • Infinite length pixel programs

Next-Generation Texture Engine

  • Accelerated texture access
  • Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
  • Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format
  • Support for non-power of two textures
  • Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
  • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes

64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending

  • Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline
  • Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion
  • Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail
  • Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions

NVIDIA Intellisample 4.0 Technology

  • Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering (with up to 128 Taps)
  • Blistering- fast antialiasing and compression performance
  • Gamma-adjusted rotated-grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible image quality
  • Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling modes boost antialiasing quality to new levels
  • Support for normal map compression
  • Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates
  • Fast z-clear

API Support

  • Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
  • Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 2.0

NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology

  • DVC color controls
  • DVC image sharpening controls

NVIDIA SLI Technology

  • Patented hardware and software technology allows two GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance
  • Scales performance on over 60 top PC games and applications

NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology

  • Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games

NVIDIA PureVideo Technology

  • Adaptable programmable video processor
  • High-definition MPEG-2 and WMV9 hardware acceleration
  • Spatial-temporal de- interlacing
  • Inverse 2:2 and 3:2 pull-down (Inverse Telecine)
  • 4-tap horizontal, 5-tap vertical scaling
  • Overlay color temperature correction
  • Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window
  • Integrated HDTV output

Composited Desktop Hardware Engine

  • Video post-processing
  • Real-time desktop compositing
  • Accelerated antialiased text rendering
  • Pixel shader-driven special effects and animation

Advanced Display Functionality

  • Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048x1536 at 85Hz
  • Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders
  • Full NVIDIA nView multi-display technology capability

Advanced Engineering

  • Designed for PCI Express x16
  • Designed for high-speed GDDR3 memory

The GeForce 7950 GX2 is equipped with a pair of G71 GPUs.  We've covered the features and specifications of the G71 in a couple of previous articles, so we won't go into detail again here.  For a more comprehensive look at the main features of the GeForce 7 series, and some more details regarding NVIDIA's multi-GPU SLI platform as a whole, we recommend taking a look at a few of our recent articles...

We know that's a lot of reading, but the information and performance data in the articles listed above will give you all of the background and architectural details necessary to fully understand the new product being announced today. If you're unclear about anything on the proceeding pages, look back to these articles for more detail.

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